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Archive for the ‘South Pacific’ Category

Cyclone RENE (TC 15P) Update 4 (14 Feb)

Posted by feww on February 14, 2010

RENE Headed Toward Tonga

At its current intensity and forecast track, Cyclone RENE could cause major damage to Tonga Isls.

Cyclone RENE could strike Hunga Island, the smaller islands to its SSW, and cause major damage to Tongatapu and Eua Islands.

An archipelago in the S. Pacific Ocean, Tonga is located south of Western Samoa. Its 176 islands (only 36 of them inhabited) are divided into three main groups: Vava’u, Ha’apai, and Tongatapu). The largest island, Tongatapu, covers about 258 sq. km (~ 100  sq. mi) and is home to the capital city of Nukuʻalofa.

The island of Niue must already be experiencing some of the peripheral forces of RENE, as it passes by.

Tropical Cyclone RENE – IR-WV Difference Satellite Image – Source: UW-CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Map of Tonga Island Groups. Source: USGovt. Click image to enlarge.


Tropical Cyclone RENE (TC 15P) Details

  • Date/Time: 14 February 2010 –  01:00 UTC
  • Position:  Near 16.5ºS, 171.0ºW
  • Sustained Movement: 215  degrees
  • Forward speed: 22 km/hr (~ 12 kt)
  • Tropical Cyclone RENE has been tracking  SOUTHWEST over the past 6 hours.

Current Wind Distribution:

  • Maximum Sustained winds: ~ 175km (~ 95 kt)
  • Maximum Gusts:  ~ 230 km/hr (~ 125 kt)
  • RENE is now a Cat 2B Hurricane on FEWW New Hurricane Scale and could further strengthen to  Cat 3B on the scale in the next 24 hours.

Wave Height and Location:

  • Maximum significant wave height: ~ 9m (27 ft)
  • Location: TC RENE was located about 240 km (~ 130 NM) SSW of Pago-Pago
  • Sources: CIMSS, JTWC and Others

Additional Satellite Imagery

NOAA East Pacific Floater 1 GOES Satellite ImageryCyclone FIFTEEN (TC 15P)

See also: UW- CIMSS Cyclone Portal

Related Links:

Posted in Cyclone RENE, Cyclone RENE Update 4, RENE Update feb 14, South Pacific, TC 15P | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Cyclone PAT (TC 14P) Update 3 (11 Feb)

Posted by feww on February 11, 2010

Cyclone Pat Pummels Cook Islands

One of the strongest cyclones to hit the area in 20 years: Authorities

PAT struck the luxury holiday destination of Aitutaki causing major damage last night local time, prompting the government to declare an emergency on the island.

Prime Minister of Cook Islands Jim Marura’i has also declared a state of emergency for the main island of Rarotonga.

The cyclone “smashed houses, trees and power lines as it cut a swath through the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, officials said Thursday, AP reported.

NASA image of Aitutaki. Click image to enlarge.

Damage at the “luxury Cook Islands holiday destination of Aitutaki.” Photo courtesy of Mike Henry in Aitutaki, via 3 News NZ.

Cyclone PAT has damaged about 90 percent of the houses on the low-lying coral atoll of Aitutak with a population of 2,000 people, said Inspector Teri Pati of the National Disaster Management Center on Rarotonga, AP reported.

“A lot of houses have been damaged, trees were uprooted, and the road has been blocked by fallen trees and debris, no power to the island, the communication is down, but they trying at the moment to get the communication back on,” he was quoted by other sources as saying.

Fiji Meteorological Service said the cyclone has weakened in intensity. However, it warned of  heavy rains, destructive winds and high tides.

“There is a lot of wind damage – homes with their roofs taken off,” Moana Motekaa of Cook Islands News said, 3News reported.

“Thirty percent of homes in the villages of Arutanga through to Amuri have either had their roofs damaged or ripped off. At least 10 homes have ‘imploded’ – the houses have been completely flattened. Even the cyclone shelter in Arutanga has had its roof blown off.

“The airport terminal at Aitutaki has been extensively damaged,” said the report.

TC PAT Details

  • Time/Date: 11 February 2010 –  03:00 UTC
  • Position:  Near 20ºS, 161ºW [UNCERTAIN]
  • Sustained Movement: 200  degrees [UNCERTAIN]
  • Forward speed: 15 km/hr (~ 8 kt)

Current Wind Distribution:

  • Maximum Sustained winds: 110 km (~ 60 kt)
  • Maximum Gusts:  ~ 140 km/hr (~ 75 kt)
  • Cyclone PAT is rapidly weakening

Wave Height and Location:

  • Maximum significant wave height: ~ 6m (18 ft) (?)
  • Location: PAT was located about 185 km (~ 100 NM) north of Rarotonga
  • Sources: CIMSS, JTWC and Others

Cyclone PAT. VIS/IR Sat image- UW-CIMSS. Click image to enhance.

Animation (NOAA) GOES Imagery

Related Links:

Posted in South Pacific, storm, TC PAT | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Cyclone PAT (TC 14P) Update 1 (10 Feb)

Posted by feww on February 10, 2010

Where Shall I Go Next? Avarua is on the Way!

Cyclone PAT Tracks South on Open Waters, For Now

Tropical Cyclone PAT – IR NHC Enhanced Satellite Image. Source: CIMSS – Date/time – Feb 10, 2010 at 00:01UTC. Click image to enter CIMSS portal.

TC PAT Details

  • Time/Date: 10 February 2010 –  00:01 UTC
  • Position:  Near 16.9ºS, 159.1ºW
  • Sustained Movement: 190  degrees
  • Forward speed: 13 km/hr (~ 7 kt)
  • Tropical Cyclone PAT has been tracking  southward over the past 6 hours.

Current Wind Distribution:

  • Maximum Sustained winds: 143 km (~ 77 kt)
  • Maximum Gusts:  ~ 167 km/hr (~ 90 kt)
  • Cyclone PAT is currently a Category 1 Hurricane

Wave Height and Location:

  • Maximum significant wave height: ~ 5.7m (17 ft)
  • Location: PAT was located about 510 km (~ 275 NM) north of Rarotonga
  • Sources: CIMSS, JTWC and Others

Related Links:

Posted in cyclone, Pacific Ocean, South Pacific, Tropical cyclone 14P, Tropical Cyclone PAT | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »